Range Hood Hell - Please help!

mizzmAugust 25, 2012

Choosing most of the appliances for my kitchen remodel was easy, thanks primarily to everyone on this forum. Thank you so much!

But I am stuck in range hood hell and despite having gone through pages of back questions, remain there. Can you please pull me out?

Here are my (seemingly simple) criteria:

1) Quietest possible

2) Good-quality

3) Strong enough to suck up the grease from my 36" Blue Star Range with a grill option. I plan to use the grill and have been told that if I don't get the range hood right, I will be in kitchen-grease hell.

4) Slimline box shape (the ones that look like rectangles with the chimneys parallel)

5) Easy to clean

Currently, the remodel design is the have the range up against a wall with the hood (but no cabinet) above it, and two windows (no cabinets) on either side.

So my preference is to get a 36" hood. If I *have* to shrink the windows to accommodate a 42" hood I will - but I would love to know whether I could get away with a 36" hood without entering the aforementioned hell.

I don't need a vanity brand at all, and would prefer to spend less rather than more, but am happy to pay what I need to in order to get what I want - the quietest possible good-quality hood that can handle grill grease.

Ok, maybe my criteria are not that simple, now that I see what I've written.....

Basically, I'm looking for the Electrolux wall-oven equivalent for range hoods, if that speaks to anyone...

I have looked and Modern Aire seems to have one that fits my aesthetic needs but I have no idea how quiet / good it is and have read on this forum it's expensive.

What are the brands that I can trust here, or better yet, what hood should I buy, how powerful does it need to be, and can I get away with 36"?

Thanks so much in advance for your input.

Monika

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PRO
trevorlawson

IMO

Hood sizing for a 36" BS with CB from good to excellent is

36 x 24
42 x 24
36 x 27
42 x 27

If you increase the capture area you increases function and that would allow you to run your hood at lower speeds to reduce noise to a degree.

Quite hoods do not remove smoke and grease very well at all. In your situation I would not worry about noise, the function is far more important especially with a charbroler on the range top.

Moving air makes noise, but moving air also removes smoke and grease. A quite hood does not move much air so consequently it removes little smoke and grease. If you have a reasonable distance from your hood to the outside wall you could consider a remote blower which WILL reduce noise.

Stainless steel baffles are easy to clean no doubt about that, simply take them out and wash them in the sink or dishwasher.

1200 cfm will be needed for that range, 1400 cfm for a remote blower.

When it comes to the cost of Modernaire, you should check out that for yourself, what one man thinks is expensive another thinks is good value, especially if it only one of a very few that fits your needs.

Overall IMO you are buying a very good COOKING range, so it is vital that the hood is equally as good as its job as the range will be. What you don't want to happen is that you don't cook as you intend because your hood sucks (and i don't mean that in a good way)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:57PM
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kaseki

Unfortunately, for air flow rates lower than 5 digits the hood doesn't actually suck up the cooking effluent. The effluent rises on its own at a fairly rapid rate (3 ft/s) and expands. The part of it that impinges on the hood aperture will be captured and with enough flow rate, contained. This is why size is important in range hoods -- to overlap the rising and expanding cooking plume. Note that this overlap is relative to the size of the pan or griddle, and not in particular the overall range size. Assume a nominal 22.5-degree half angle for plume expansion (angle varies somewhat with a lot of parameters). And it is the internal aperture of the hood that matters for capture, not the external size.

When cabinets or side shields are in use, the hood need not be longer than the range, but without them the 42-inch recommendation should be heeded.

27 deep is probably essential for normal hood heights.

Turbulence from cross drafts and people moving about can cause effluent to miss the aperture even when all design rules are met.

For least noise, as Clinresga and other have documented, a remote blower with in-line sound suppressor (muffler) is the best approach. This approach will attenuate the blade tip noise and much of the upstream duct turbulence noise. Air flow turbulence noise around the baffles, however, is not avoidable. (After all, the baffles work by reversing air direction so the larger part of the grease particle size spectrum impinges on the baffles.

I have a Wolf/Broan 1500 cfm roof blower with Fantech in-line sound suppressor. At full power the sound is certainly present and marginally obtrusive, but normal conversation across the peninsula and along the peninsula is not degraded.

kas

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:36AM
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ginny20

You've heard from the experts, and I won't dispute anything they've said. I took their advice to heart when I was selecting a hood, and I'm glad I did.

I am pleased with my Kobe hood. The particular model I have is not large enough or powerful enough for your range, but I'm sure Kobe makes one that would work. Just offering another brand to consider. Proline was another brand I had considered; it looked like a good product.

I got mine from Ventingdirect.com. They had good service and good prices. Kobe itself also has good customer service. When I took mine apart without thinking (don't ask), they quickly provided info so I could get it back together.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 3:06PM
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elliots11

I'm not an expert, but I just bought a Z-line hood off of Amazon for a really good price ($300) and it does up to 760cfm, which blows away the microwave hoods I was considering. It's pretty quiet, but if you need to move a lot of air it's going to make noise. Perhaps one with more smooth edges (rather than squared off) would reduce noise.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 7:23PM
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momx9

I Do NOT want to hijack your thread, but I, too, am in range hood hell! So I don't have any advice, just commiseration!

I know what I want, but I'm not sure how to get it! Anyone want to tell me how to configure what I want/need?

I've got 36" induction cooktop on a peninsula, so planning to get 42" hood, at least 24" deep. I would LIKE an inline blower, in the attic, to help minimize noise, but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. All the hoods I've looked at have internal blowers; I don't need both, correct? How do I get a hood that doesn't have an internal blower? Trying to stay under $1500, too. Anyone?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 12:45AM
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kaseki

What I would do (perhaps in coordination with whatever contractor was to be involved) is order an appropriate in-line blower from Fantech with whatever coupling devices are required, (There are other sources, but one has to diligently track them down by moving off page 1 of whatever Google presents.)

The roof cap and various other sheet metal parts are required in any case and will have to be sourced, perhaps locally.

Buy a hood that doesn't have an internal blower. Wolf, ModernAir, and maybe Broan/Best make them, among probably many others. I don't have exhaustive knowledge of product lines to be specific.

I think your price point may be difficult to reach, particularly if you include hardware installation labor and electrician labor.

On a peninsula, front to back interior depth is also important, so deeper than 24 inches is desirable.

You can also use a roof blower to remove the local noise from the hood. Use the space in the attic for a sound suppressor (again Fantech). But that is yet more money.

kas

Here is a link that might be useful: Fantech in-line

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:53AM
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pbx2_gw

I'm also going to thread jack a little OP -apologies in advance; but we are also looking for a vent hood insert & none of the ones we've seen are 24"+ deep. Deepest off the shelf we've seen is 22.5".

& custom ones seem to be outrageous - priced over $2k from the one venta-hood quote we got.

We feel that is way too much for a 30" gas range that won't see too many wok or steak days.

Any help would be apprecitated.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 10:46AM
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kaseki

A non-standard Vent-a-hood unit would be complex, given the internal fan configuration. Companies such as Modern-Aire should be better situated to do custom hoods, and, I hope, can be more cost-quality-effective as a result.

Ventilation is a part of cooking and shouldn't be treated as a second-class appliance.

I imagine a business case could be made comparing the present value of cleaning walls and repainting in the future against the cost of good ventilation now. The result might, in some circumstance, find for the poor ventilation option. A means of weighting tolerance for grease build-up would be needed for such an analysis.

kas

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:21AM
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pbx2_gw

Thanks for the tip Kaseki. I knowyou are the resident expert on effluents capture here!

I'm seeing a lot of people around here with nice custom wood hood canopies but inserts only 20" deep trying to provide coverage for 36"+ ranges - poor idea?

Just to confirm something for me: what if an insert is 22.5" deep - will adding a liner surround bringing it to 24" be an adequate answer to stop the smoke?

Or will it merely slow it down & distribute said smoke eventually?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:11PM
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mizzm

Hi Everybody, it's me again (I put up the original question).

Thanks so much for all your help, especially trevorlawson and keseki.

I have spent quite a bit of time on the phone with Modern Aire, and have learned a lot (perhaps more than I wanted to :-)) I will share it all (especially what I learned about hood noise) after I go check out one of their hoods in person, which will happen within the next few days.

Modern Aire does seem to have the exact fit I am looking for - but for the whopping price of $3200 (not including installation or ducting!).

So before I pull the trigger, does anybody have any hood brands that might equal or nearly equal their quality and noise reduction but come in less expensive?

I called Zephyr and they have a nice-looking hood (duo) that can accommodate an external blower but it only goes up to 1000 cfm.

Kaseki, you mention Wolf / Broan but I am guessing that won't be any less expensive, but maybe....?

$3200 was definitely not in the budget....

But I think these really low-end options mentioned are simply not going to work for my needs.

Anything else that can blow 1200 CFM or more ...?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:42PM
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kaseki

for pbx2: If an extension is used and has enough slope to ensure that rising effluent reflects upward and the flow rate is high enough to keep it contained, I would expect effluent to be captured over the wider area. This requires the insert to be higher in the canopy to leave room for the extensions.

for mizzm: Wolf is unlikely to be lower cost than Modern-Aire. Broan may be. I have only used a Wolf hood and blower (manufactured by Independent and Broan respectively for Wolf). I am not and am unlikely to be sufficiently familiar with the varying products available to make product recommendations. I only recommend requirements that should be met and in some cases observe whether a particular example appears to leave one or more requirements unmet.

kas

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:20PM
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cluelessincolorado

mizzm, our needs were different than yours, but I just wanted to say that we went a hood that is 24" deep (Zephyr Venezia) and have been very happy we did so. We do a lot of frying and stir frying on the front burners and are glad to have the deeper capture area. LOVE the Duo!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:46PM
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racmrc

Mizzm - we have a "BEST" by Broan range hood. It is a 48" wide x 24" deep Model K260 with stainless baffles. We use an external 1200 cfm blower by BEST along with a Fantec silencer. Our duct has a length of 13' physical feet with one 45 degree and one 90 degree bend. The 48" hood was $1050 and the external blower was $780, both purchased locally where I'm located.

Sound levels are hard to describe but I'll try:

Lowest speed (this hood has variable blower speed) - on low you can't hear it

50% speed - our refrigerator running will drown out the blower but noise level of wind hiss is similar. So far it seems this will be the speed we used the most.

75% a bit louder than the refrigerator but only hear wind noise with air going thru baffles - loud enough to hear but noise drops off as soon as you back off from the hood, especially about 5 feet away. This speed so far is all we've needed when doing the most smoke producing cooking - using cast iron skillets super hot and blackening various meats. Tons of smoke and 75% power easily pulls everything out.

100% - a slight hum from the remote blower and a fair amount of hiss of air being sucked thru the baffles. Sound level probably about 3/4 way between the sound of a refrigerator running and a table top microwave (probably closer to the microwave). We haven't seen yet where this full speed has been needed - but good to know its there.

Our previous range hood had an 8 sones sound level and just for reference - 8 sones is similar (to us) as a jet engine running the the kitchen - or maybe even a lawn mower. 8 sones is very distracting and hard to have a good conversation.

We looked at many different hoods and every hood we saw with an internal blower was loud so we knew we really needed the external blower. With our kitchen remodel our kitchen will be part of a great room and we wanted the quietest possible blower setup we could get. We are 100% satisfied with the performance and noise levels.

With our remodel, we will soon have a different rangetop installed (already delivered), a 48" BS with 24" grill and we have no concerns about our range hood being able to do the job since it's already proven it can handle what we throw at it.

I would not hesitate to purchase the BEST products again - much cheaper than others and nice quality.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 5:42PM
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wdmoeller

Before ordering anything from Proline, one would be well-advised to check out their history with the Better Business Bureau.

Here is a link that might be useful: Proline Range Hoods BBB page

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:20PM
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iqbalm

noise level of any given range hood cannot be reduced due to the following reasons.

1. faulty fans (mis aligned)
2. too many bends for air exhaust( the connecting ends male to female cause the air to obstruct and cause noise.
3. and together with the above the range is not properly installed.

the inside of the exhaust bends or exhaust pipes are some how glazed such that there is no obstruction to the air flow, then you may be able to reduce some noice.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 11:24AM
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